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Updated June 2022
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
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Buying guide for best yeti coolers

Looking for a sturdy cooler for your next camping trip, fishing expedition, or tailgating party? YETI brand coolers offer outstanding quality with a sleek, modern design.

Whether you want to chill a six-pack of beers or store freshly caught fish until you get back to shore, there’s a YETI cooler out there that will suit your needs.

The BestReviews team wants to help you choose the YETI cooler that’s best for you. In order to bring you accurate information, our team digs deep to research products and give you the lowdown on what to consider and look for while you shop.

Here, you’ll find our carefully curated product list with our favorite YETI picks. Our shopping guide includes a helpful FAQ section and information on the product models offered by YETI.

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Stuck in the sun? Protect your YETI cooler with a towel or blanket.

YETI coolers: key considerations

Here’s what you should be thinking about when shopping for a YETI cooler.


What kinds of outings do you like? How much do you plan on hauling in your cooler? The answers to these questions will dictate the size of cooler that will best fit your needs. Filling a large cooler only halfway causes the ice to melt more quickly, so don’t select a large model unless you really need it.

For lunches or day trips, a smaller cooler with a capacity of 14 cans or so should suffice. For weekend camping, a larger cooler with a capacity of greater than 35 cans might be more useful. YETI’s wide line of coolers offers a number of different capacities; there’s something for everyone, whether you’re taking a day-long wilderness hike or an extended hunting trip.

Also, make sure your chosen YETI cooler fits inside your vehicle and that a full cooler isn’t too heavy for one or two people to carry.

"Don’t drain the water out of your YETI cooler if you’re still trying to keep items insulated. Cold water helps keep your food cold, but don’t submerge unpackaged food."


YETI sells two main types of coolers: soft and hard. Both types are built with toughness in mind, but some people may prefer the extra protection offered by a hard cooler.


Buyers can choose between hard and soft coolers when browsing YETI’s myriad of products. Soft coolers offer better portability, but they aren’t as good as hard coolers at keeping ice cold. Some soft models are backpacks, which allow easy, hands-free transport. Hard models are better suited for situations where portability is less of a concern, such as car camping.

YETI cooler features

YETI offers several different cooler lines. You’ll need to make some decisions as you shop. Ask yourself the following questions to help clarify what you really want.

  • Do you want a hard-side or soft-side cooler? YETI offers both. The maker’s roto-molded hard-side coolers are popular with consumers for their ruggedness and durability, so if you’ll be partaking in some wild adventures – kayaking, white water rafting – you may wish to purchase a hard-side cooler. But YETI’s soft-side coolers have perks, too: they’re well-insulated yet flexible, so you can easily stow one in a small closet space when not in use.

  • Do you need a cooler for short trips or long trips? For a small group or a large party? YETI has won over many customers with its tough, secure coolers; fans are willing to pay top dollar for the quality. Fortunately, you have plenty of choice when it comes to choosing a cooler size. If you tend to take solo day trips or short weekend jaunts with one or two other people, a smaller cooler may suffice. If you plan to be gone for an entire week with a pack of friends, however, you’ll want one of YETI’s largest coolers – the type that can hold 250 cans or more.

  • Will you need to carry your YETI cooler very far? If so, opt for one with handles or a carrying strap. Not all YETI coolers have this feature, but some do. If you load up your handle-less YETI and find it’s too heavy to carry, you may end up needing a dolly; when fully packed, these coolers can get mighty heavy. Also bear in mind that some coolers are more lightweight than others. Check the weight of the cooler when it’s empty; this figure should be available in the product specs.

All hard YETI coolers feature a sturdy gasket closure, which helps create an air-tight seal for better temperature retention. The hard units are also built using a process called rotomolding, which significantly enhances durability. YETI hard coolers are tested to ensure they are bear-resistant.

Luckily, some YETI coolers are available in a number of different sizes, so if you like the look and ergonomic design of a particular model, you may be able to get it in the size you need for your personal adventures.

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Resist the urge to check your cooler contents. Opening the lid causes the ice to melt more quickly.


Q. How much ice should I put inside my YETI cooler?

A. A two-to-one ratio of ice to beverages or food is recommended for best results.

Q. How long will ice stay frozen in my YETI cooler?

A. The answer to that depends on a variety of factors, including the type and amount of ice used, how hot or cold the outside temperature is, and whether the cooler is sitting in the sun. There’s no way to measure ice retention, and no rating system exists. YETI coolers, however, are well-insulated and built to keep interior conditions consistent.

Q. Can I use a YETI cooler to keep things hot?

A. While the coolers are mainly designed to keep items cold, the insulation featured in these coolers also works to keep food or beverages warm.

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